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Full text of "Aluminum Research Laboratories."



























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INTFRNATIQNA I 



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ALU MJLN U M 







EARCH 



LABORATORIES 



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ENTRANCE TO ALUMINUM RESEARCH LABORATORIES 



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The exterior of the building demonstrates some of the uses which 
are being made of aluminum in architectural decoration and construction. 
Approaching the main entrance, the eye is attracted by the aluminum 
doors with their cast aluminum grille work, framed by ornamental alu- 
minum castings. Between the limestone pilasters, aluminum window 
frames are set with aluminum mullions and separated between floors by 
cast aluminum spandrels, decorated with blue and green vitreous enamel. 



( Pay 3 ) 




ENTRANCE LOBBY EXECUTED IN MARBLE WITH ALUMINUM 

DOORS AND FIXTURES 



ENTERING THE LOBBY, one is struck by the color harmony of alu- 
minum fixtures against white marble walls. The inlaid aluminum de- 
sign in the green and white terrazzo floor harmonizes with the aluminum 
chandelier, radiator grille work, and wrought aluminum elevator doors. 



The same motif employed in the design of the chandelier in the lobby 
is us d in the lighting fixtures for rhe Conference Room, which is on 
the same floor. This room, paneled in oak, natural finish, provides a meet- 
ing place for staff conferences and groups of visitors to the laboraton 




Pay 4 ) 






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ALUMINUM FURNITURE IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM 

PANELED IN OAK 












The blue upholstery provides a striking contrast with the natural finish 
of the aluminum furniture, which is also set off by the deep blue back- 
ground of the rug. Aluminum chairs, light, durable and fireproof, are 
used in offices and laboratories. 

The research activities of the staff of 150 are grouped in seven di- 

Metallurgical, Physical Testing, Chemical Development, Ana- 
lytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Patents, Paints and Finishes Di- 
visions. Small staffs are maintained at several of the plants of the Company. 



visions 



( Page 5 ) 







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P M I I IN 



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Rl H in tl illur iminum •• the principal ac 

tivil lal Thorough l m\ n atiooj of tin 

>j n : .ilum urn id it jllo\ la\ tl foundation 

mi new llo\ md the impro\ m< ot old. 






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labocatori »n the >und floor. H t 

h. nded their utiln d a 



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ELECTRIC FURNACES AND HEAT-TREATMENT EQUIPMENT 

METALLURGICAL LABORATORY 



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pose. The metallographic investigation of aluminum alloys also frequently 
requires long-time heat treatment operations in order to produce struc- 
tural equilibrium. Smaller furnaces, with accurate temperature control 
equipment maintaining constant temperatures for periods of several 
months, are used. The temperature at any furnace may be accurately 
ascertained by means of a centrally located precision potentiometer. The 
progress of structural changes produced by heat treatment and aging 
is revealed by precise measurements of electrical conductivity. 



(P^7) 















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HIGH-FREQUENCY INDUCTION FURNACE WITH SMALL MUFFLE 

FURNACE AT LEFT 



FOR THE attainment of very high temperatures, a 15 KVA high-fre- 
quency induction furnace is available in the Physical Chemistry Labo- 
ratory. With this furnace, high temperature experiments can be carried 
out in vacuo and temperatures as high as 5400° Fahrenheit are readily 

trainable. The small muffle furnace operates at temperatures up to 2000°. 
To the study of metals and alloys are brought the tools of science, 

uch is the microscope, the X-ray, the spectroscope, the potentiometer 
and many other instruments. The X-ray is employed to investigate de- 




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s of metal structure which arc beyond the power of the microscope 

ro reveal. The spectroscope reveals elements in m alio) which arc pres- 
ent in too small ..mounts to be determined In ordinary chemical methods. 
Microscopic examination is indispensable in metallurgical rescarch,fot 
while chemical analysis ascertains the total composition of an alloy the 
microscope indicates tl manner oi ot urren .-of the alloying element 
The microscope is also important in < ;n» in manufacturin troubles 

and insurin a product h _• from de 



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[ICROSCOPES FOR VISUAL EXAMINATION OF METAL STRUCTURES 



POWERFUL MICROSCOPES of the type shown are used for detailed 
study of metals, and photomicrographs recording structures of special 
interest .ire made on instruments capable of magnifications as low as 5 
liameters and as high as 16,000. The motifs for the cover and page dec- 
orations in this book are found in the many fantastic structures which 
the microscope reveals in aluminum and its allovs. The decoration on 
page 14, for example, is based on a photomicrograph of an aluminum- 
silicon alloy, on page 15, of an aluminum-copper alloy. 











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POWER SUPPLY (LEFT) AND 



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X-RAY TUBE (right) WITH 
VACUUM PUMPS BENEATH TABLE 

X-rays provide an "eye" that can tell us many things about the inside 
of metal crystals, such as the arrangement and spacing of atoms within 
the crystal, grain orientation and size, and extent of internal strain. In 
the picture, X-rays generated within the long glass tube in the center of 
the table are being reflected from the layers of atoms within the crystals 
in a sheet of aluminum, and the diffraction pattern photographed. The 
X-ray is also used in radiography to ensure the absence of structural defects, 
and as a guide in developing the best casting practice. 



( Page 11 ) 







CHI M I (. A L LABORATORY 



THE determination of the chemical characteristics of materials, includ- 
ing composition, is essential to research. In the several laboratories de- 
voted to such work are to be seen a variety of applications of aluminum 

in laboratory equipment, such as benches, tables, hood supports, filter 
racks, hot plates, chairs, drawer pulls, hinges and aluminum-encased bal- 
ances. The chemical benches, made of corrosion-resistant aluminum with 
soapstone tops, are an innovation in laboratory equipment. 

Aluminum equipment is extensively used by industry in combating 







Pate 12 , 




PRECISION D \ L A N C E S USED 



IN CHEMICAL ANALYSIS 


















chemical corrosion, and a laboratory is devoted to investigating the serv- 
iceability of aluminum for many such applications. The packaging of 
foods, drugs and sundry products in aluminum presents problems which 
come to these laboratories for investigation. 

Here also is done the essential work of establishing and maintaining 
Alcoa Standard Analytical Methods which are used in company-con- 
trolled laboratories and made available to other laboratories through 
publication. 



( Page B ) 










I '. > a A T O I . Ii km | A P II I ( ANALYSIS Ul M A J L K i A L 



INI SPE( II- R \i ; ll is an indispen iblc aid to th< research chemist 

W 1( it) the composition of an) metal can be determin- 

qi lit.itn i >n in sample o( th metal b) .ire c by spark 

spc im p >t< hically Since most of the sensitive 
in the ultra-violet n :ion,thespcctrogi ph shown ha 









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vc results an btain i 1 >mp rm 5 suitable methods, the 



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LABORATORY FOR LARGE 



SCALE CHEMICAL PROCESS 
DEVELOPMENT WORK 



Chemical process development work is carried out in a large labora- 
tory in the rear court of the building. In these laboratories are a variety 
of ovens, gas-fired and electrical furnaces; pressure digesters; crushing, 
grinding and pulverizing machinery; sieves and classifiers. The rear of the 
laboratory (shown on the next page) is two stories in height, thus per- 
mitting the use of full size test units of most plant equipment. The 
apparatus shown on page 16 is used to measure the moisture absorption 
efficiency of activated alumina, a product of research. 



( Page 15 ) 





LABORATORY WITH EXTRA HEIGHT IOR Chi UCAL PR< ^S DEVELOPMEN1 \ >R 



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The new universal precision metal-working machine. Capacity: 3,000,000 lb. in compressi m 
1,000,000 lb. in tension. The ability to move the head of the machine at speeds as high as 36 
inches per minute under full load makes this the most powerful machine of its kind in the world. 


















left — Tensile test : a large riveted 
joint specimen in the machine. 



below — The control unit of the 

machine. 



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— Press forging an 
aluminum ingot. 



Electrically heated 



extrusion equipment. 

















left — Testing laboratory. 
showing the 300,000 lb. and 

the 3,000,000 lb. machines. 



below — The operating ma- 
chinery is located below the 
floor. The oil pump and the 
300 hp. motor furnish power 
to the large machine through 
the hydraulic cylinder. 




LEFT AMSLER UNIVERSAL TESTING MACHINE WITH 7 CAPACITIES FROM 400 TO 40,000 
RIGHT— AMSLER UNIVERSAL TESTING MACHINE WITH 4 CAPACITIES FROM 30,000 TO 300 000 



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C Page 17 ) 




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,. i L LUMINUMALLOYGIEDJKI 

, H v. - i < HYDRAULIC JAC 



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I K.\U LI] cx< tic | well equipped with testing 

juij rl termination of the mechanical properties 

rli trcngth ol fabric ted unit and tructun , The 

CV ]ui| a r ran )-lh I imum cip.iun Amslct 

1 It r ma< r.ikin nsion or compn od speci- 

] til h,orl with a n rimum span of LO feet 

hin veil < un rang up to 40.000 

chin r\ 11 i 3-t n . luminum alloy crai 



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A M i L L R TORSION fESTING MACHINE 











Adjacent to these machines is a Universal floor test slab, consisting 
essentially of a reinfotced conctete beam 12 feet by 30 feet, the upper 
surface flush with the floor. In this beam are 48 inserts each capable of 
withstanding a pull of 30 tons. By the use of suitable tension bolts and 
cross members, accurately calibrated hvdraulic jacks with capacities up to 
75 tons arc used in testing girders, truss^ car frames, truck frames, etc. 

The Amsler torsion testing machine has four capacities ranging from 
240 to 1200 foot-pounds, and handles specimens as long as 4 feet. 



( Page 19 ) 




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further c juipped with smallci l ni- 



.1 • hi icsc machines include three Ams rhvdi ulic 

h I . c icitj ran s ' 200 1 20,( 

vm ip. me -i 




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i' ilia Axnslci lachinesi equip- 

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INSTRUMENT SHOP, SHOWING 



LATHES, SHAPER, SENSITIVE 
DRILL PRESS AND TOOL GRINDER 



















Provision is made for making tensile tests of metals at both high and 
low temperatures over a range of -114° Fto +1200° F. Equipment is also 
available for the calibration of extensometers and strain gages, as well as 
the calibration of other testing machines. In thoroughly modern instru- 
ment shops, equipment and apparatus for both the Research Laboratories 
and the various plant laboratories are constructed and repaired, and the 
thousands of test specimens required by the Research Laboratories arc 
prepared on a production scale 



( Page 11 ) 




M •, , 1 1 ] n I S I <> R MEASURING THE ENDURANCL PROPERTIES 

Ol METALS 



TESTING MACHINES are provided for the determination of the en- 
durance or fatigue properties of metals. This equipment includes 41 R.R. 
Moore type rotating-beam, 8 constant deflection type of fatigue machines 
for testing sheet metal, 2 four-specimen direct tension type machines, 1 
long specimen tielton type rotating-beam, and 1 cantilever specimen 
type an tn ed for testing aluminum tubing and fittings. In addition, 
there are itigue machine for making tests in repeated sh ir and rotat- 



ing-l am tests at elevated temperatures. The fatigue strength of alu- 



Paa 12 







TON WEIGHT READY TO DROP ON ALUMINUM ALLOY BEAM 



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minum based on the material withstanding 500,000,000 cycles of stress. 
A universal impact testing machine is provided with tups of 500, 
1,000 and 2,000 pounds which can be dropped from any height up to a 
maximum of 20 feet. Arrangements are provided for testing beams, 
columns, frames and panels, with recording devices for deflections and 
strains. Tests are carried out with this machine to determine the ability 
of aluminum structures to withstand dynamic loads under conditions 
closely simulating those occurring in service. 



( Page 2 3 ) 




PHYSICAL L A B O R A T O R V I O R ELECTRICAL MEASUREMENTS 



THE PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY DIVISION is equipped to make pre- 
cise measurements of such varied properties of materials as conductivity, 
den sit) of solid and liquid metals, solubilitv of gases in liquid metals, 

m ing point, d< ity id electrical c nductivin of fused salts, etc. A - 

para t us for measuring thermal conductivity and emissivitv is emplo\ed 

in investigating the insulating propertic of bright aluminum foil sepa- 
rating thin air spac Pax es for the production of aluminum reflector^ 

h.i\ I ;en devel ped with the .iid of a precision reflectometer. 






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rh i vision Paints I f ivcsi 



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pi tion \i luminu i ; 

nil s to met ilumim I tl 

pi the m\ st n, 



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A\D ALUM) N l M EQUIPMENT FOR 

DISTRIBUTING DISTILLED WATER 



STORING AND 



D TILLED WATER for the laboratories is stored and distributed in 

luminum t nks and pipes. Two aluminum storage tanks with the essen- 
tial aluminum piping and fittings are shown near the stills. This instal- 
lation i- based upon more than rift en years of satisfactory experience in 
handling distilled water in aluminum. 

Th man} laboratories illustrated in the booklet arc engaged on a wide 
variety ot problems with two general objectives. One is to secure a com- 
prehensive scientific knowledge of the Company's processes and products 





( Page 26 ) 








LABORATORY FOR SERVICE TESTS ON ALUMINUM 









so that present ones may be improved and new processes and products 
developed to meet or to anticipate the needs of industry. The other ob- 
jective is to make aluminum more useful to the consumer by providing 
accurate data concerning its chemical, physical and mechanical properties. 
The use of aluminum in railway trains or bridges, for example, was 
made possible by the development of new alloys, as well as detailed 
data on their structural properties so that the engineer could employ 
them with confidence. 



C Page 27 ) 




1 P () !> R I 



P A I N r S AND METALS 



THE durability of a product, whether it be a metal or a paint finish, is 
a matter of common interest to both producer and user. The work of the 
laboratories includes extensive exposure tests of many materials under 
in iv condition On the roof of the laboratory there are racks carrying 
hundreds >f test specimens which include aluminum and its alloyf, bare, 

painted namelled, oxide-coat d, etc, for decoration or protection. Among 

the mam paint test are aluminum painted steel panels which are still 
i ex( llent condition after 10 j ars' exposure. 



( Page 2 







X 



TANKS FOR IMMERSING METAL TEST PIECES 

IN SEA WATER 




For comparison with the exposure tests of metals at New Kensington, 
which represents an industrial location, similar exposure tests are con- 
ducted at Edgewater, N. J., Point Judith, R. L, at the seashore, and 
Georgetown, South America, a tropical location. 

On the grounds of the Research Laboratory are located tanks carrying 
synthetic sea- water in which racks of test pieces are alternately immersed, 
then raised and allowed to drain and dry. This is an accelerated test un- 
der conditions which simulate service conditions in seaplanes, ships, etc. 



( P^e 29 ) 








R i I \ n <. II 1 I It R \ R V 




\\ I >SJ \IIAL TOOL for r< trch work is an adequate technical 
libran I i> card index in the library now contains me 100,000 end 
ovcrin ool ntific and technical articl< md technical correspond- 

ubi i interest to the laborai ries, In a separate workroom 



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the I ry, the ( m| ny's t< hnical com pondenc is filed according 
tosuh mat( The draw r pull- and trim on the metal desks 



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hi s oi aluminum. 



The laboratory is 275' long with 108 wii pat each end. At present 









Pau V) 












R ' v R V I i w o I v i | m v, RESEARCH L A R () « A 1 lis 






ir contains 56,000 feet of Qoor -\\i^. On the laborator) grounds arc ex- 
tensive ex] jure t< rs of metals and p.nnr . including a test knee con- 
structed with 11 different species of v I sidii which monstratc 
the advantages of mill primin with aluminum paint. The rear of the 
building has been left unfii J from the irchiti tural standp int. A 
additional spaa rcquir I for i irch worl ; intended to < >mplet< 

the building in the form of a hollow quar Th ►ntinued rowth of 
th aluminum industry will < rr nl\ II for such mere _d litie 






ALUMINUM COMPANY OF AMERICA 



Sales 



Offices 



Albany, NY 90 State Street 

Atlanta, Ga 1818 Rhodes-Haverty Building 

Birmingham, Ala 1112 Martin Building 

Boston, Mass 20 Providence Street, Park Square 

Buffalo, N. Y 1880Elmwood Avenue 

Chicago, 111 520 N. Michigan Boulevard 

Cincinnati, Ohio 903 Dixie Terminal Building 

Cleveland, Ohio 2210 Harvard Avenue 

Dallas, Texas 1601 Allen Building 

Detroit, Mich 3311 Dunn Road 

Fairfield, Conn Boston Post Road 

Hartford, Conn Capitol Building, 410 Asylum Street 

Indianapolis, Ind 716 Merchants Bank Building 

Kansas City, Mo 2306 Power & Light Building 

Los Angeles, Calif 1031 S. Broadway 

Milwaukee, Wis 735 N. Water Street 

Minneapolis, Minn 1345 Northwestern Bank Building 

Newark, N.J 1111 Academy Building 

New Orleans, La 1512 American Bank Building 

New York, N. Y 230 Park Avenue 

Philadelphia, Pa. . . .2307 Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Building 

Pittsburgh, Pa Gulf Building 

San Francisco, Calif 709 Rialto Building 

St. Louis, Mo 1825 Boatmen's Bank Building 

Toledo, Ohio 1315 Ohio Bank Building 

Washington, D. C 606-611 Southern Building 



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PSINTED . S. A 

1AM C. JOHNSFON COMP/ 

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